tv Operation Kony Deutsche Welle March 25, 2020 10:15am-11:01am CET
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social networks never forget. so i searched in my personal archives. 2012. march. had i liked or shared the most viral video in history 100000000 views in just 6 days. my name is jason russell and this is my son. it was the story of a young american director jason russell who hoped his 30 minute video would facilitate the capture of a new tory as a war criminal in central africa. joseph coney.
so gav. this is the guy just cody. the battle. for 26 years tony has been kidnapping children interest rebel group the l r a. turning the girls into sex slaves. the video was meant to shock to outrage people's faces. to bring joseph kony to justice russell even set up a private n.g.o.s called invisible children. its internet campaign kone 2012 was a runaway success. among those who circulated the video
for a few of my friends. until recently i had forgotten all about the video and about joseph koni himself. then 2 journalists from our team entrusted me with this hard drive with footage shot in africa in 2014. the starting point for my investigation. i set out in pursuit of the most infamous more criminal on social networks. and of
invisible children begin g.-o. that want to stop them my 1st port of call was good in northern uganda joseph coney is native region. i took the same roads that the directors of coney 2012 took and met the same people. former child soldiers of the n.r.a. the brutal rebel group headed by joseph kony. from the late 1980 s. the warlord raided villages here to replenish his rents with new recruits. it was on friday i don't. in the morning that's when they came to our village. i was definitely very. and the 2nd night i was given some simple training for the music gun and i think that. and i realize that whether i like it or not i don't like it
i don't know life know so i have to tough and i say partially. the 3 filmmakers from invisible children turned up here in gulu in 2003. i was able to track down the woman who served as their guide at the time. and then i want for a lot of charity organizations and i went to the u.s. to talk about the war in northern uganda and i started telling how i was a for my child sold year and then how many kids of being abducted here and that is where i received a lot of people who are very ignorant about the war and when the boys saw i always called in the boys i'm sorry but when the filmmaker has sold this story. they contacted. and definitely i would see this story of how they wanted to talk
aboard the massacre and they said wait a minute you want to talk a book war is a war we know than luganda. but because they were naive. i drove them to the north. without informing us of russia. because we had different. children. and that's how everything started. what they did they made a lot of small videos about. some of the victims of the war. and of course the final the 12 documented was going to 12. bringing it out in top 10 minutes. a war that had lasted for more than.
many people even looked like a joke. since then the ninety's kids have grown up and they're in geo is now based in washington like all successful mob easiest. my business is yes we did just what he did to just a year before i could talk to the president of invisible children you can let me know if my hair will be a problem at any point and that. there was an endless back and forth of negotiations in 24 teams my colleagues request for an interview was declined it took dozens of e-mails and months of waiting before i got the green light. didn't you remember what was the object you will decrease or if it was revealed in part 6100000000 people. now this was the main objective of the campaign was to push the
u.s. government to remain committed to implementing its counter eller a strategy and then the deployment of the advisers was an outcome of that strategy ready for the videos explicit aim was to provoke the u.s. into sending troops after coni. train track him in the vast jungle in order to find him the us government has to deploy them that's where the american advisors come in not for self defense but because it was right. politically speaking it was hugely successful. hugely successful not really 2 years before coney 2012 became a global internet sensation invisible children was already lobbying the oval office as this photo from 2010 clearly shows.
the greatest small number of u.s. forces i ordered the small number of american advisors to help uganda and its neighbors pursue the l.r. the removal of joseph kony from the battlefield sincerely. it's just a small step from garnering likes to dispatching troops. in the 21st century the video can start a war. but that's the americans helicopter visibility or says the videos on my hard drive documented the u.s. operation it featured some members of the 100 strong special forces team deployed by obama. may we have just a question with you because i just wanted to understand. from the photos you know one camera and i don't know. somewhat surprisingly and invisible
children camp can be seen on the footage. surprising because my colleagues shot the material in 2014 in the eastern central african republic by then it had been almost a decade since joseph coney's militia had abandoned their base in uganda. the remnants were holed up somewhere in a vast neighboring area between the democratic republic of congo south sudan and the central african republic. here in obo hundreds of kilometers east of the war torn capital bangui is where the americans claimed that coney and his troops were hiding. on the ground my colleagues realized that not only was invisible children behind the deployment of u.s. army advisers the american n.-g. o. was also hosting military meetings. specifically for the u.s.
special forces directing operations in the hunt for kone and their allies the ugandans who are carrying out their orders now we can get your. mortgage. and your care in the way colonel the only only measure of the us forces that are. in regional to force in the el rey bringing the ellery. they will hear our message today and you know there's time to talk about. this next few weeks so it's free yes. thanks to the bush he's still in the bush right but his organization is coming out of the bush it's as you know this is a gigantic area here and to find one person that does not want to be found. it is
very difficult. fast forward 4 years by now the u.s. operation was over the army advisers had returned home having failed to capture kone. but why end a manhunt when the target is still at large. had the most powerful army in the world been looking in the wrong place. or did the mission have other objectives. as my family remained motion in uganda. the father was prime minister. until that government itself was overthrown by the pond thank you. after 6 years of intervention right they didn't get. right where they even looking for him of course not they were not looking for corn and in fact it's
hard to say it's even a success or failure since i believe 100 percent that was never the objective anyway. this operation has cost more than $700000000.00 is that possible it only makes sense if that money was going to finance another i genda. who are the soldiers we filmed in 2014. what was the true nature of their mission. they were there under the banner of the pentagon's africa command africa. but it's not only a military command. according to this recently declassified internal document afrikan comprises both military personnel and civilians protecting u.s. interests in africa is one of its goals. which interests diplomatic and
military but also economic financial as well as intelligence above all africa operates in the gray zone between traditional war and peace. africa this meant to intervene in the humanitarian role so that is the official narrative. but the more geo political narrative is that the u.s. would be able to start sneaking in u.s. forces through uganda and then spread it into the redone to counter other interest in africa. in 2014 the people of oboe rarely saw u.s. army rangers on patrol. what they did see though was their aircraft their helicopters and their drones.
back to break up and you. will get. really an inkling out. there. going on here. without the excuse of hunting down a war criminal the u.s. military would never have been allowed to conduct an airborne operation over such an unstable strategic area. thanks to operation kone it was able to map the area and install g.p.s. beacons. or in military terms gather intelligence.
but central africa is not just a region of military interest. it's also rich in gold and diamond reserves along with businessmen ready to exploit them. this man for example on the left as he appears in footage shot in 2014 at a security meeting in obo. that day he was handed what was clearly a confidential map. he refused our requests to film it and with good reason. don't you think that was the map was addressed to the colonel of the american armed forces. i'm not saying mark feels some this is mark pearson. apparently he's a cultural advisor. but what would a cultural advisor be doing and. going and why entrust a cultural advisor with an american military map.
4 years later i looked into who mark pearson really was. before following the american military into the area he was employed by jim diamond's a multinational diamond operation. it boasts turnover of some 300000000 euros with mines and prospecting projects all over africa including one in the central african republic. but the only area of diamond exploration officially declared by the company is in the west of the central african republic one and a half 1000 kilometers away from mobile on the other side of the country. so what was one of gem diamonds former employees doing here in a region that harbors a wealth of gold and diamond posits. in kampala the ugandan capital i needed to find out more about who was really
running the country. you know where we most of any seized power in a coup in 1906 to consolidate his grip on power he purge the country of many rebel groups. joseph coney's however was spared. along with a creation of the state. only a member of the opposition. talk to me about this angle of the story. when as president cut it open my dance of on i come from to do so meaning to do that on was a creation of the government. that will. areas that i have to state power but those for the well when i was there were trained up there this affected my base that never came in a body to create the universe the know. it you don't you would have been a bad fit in line going to it didn't have the power as in the states it out for
themselves. without those of course. the ugandan administration would not be able to make the justification but it needs more build trust systems from the united states that means the needs more weapons and it needs more financial resources and diplomatic partnership with the united states how would you be able to make that merits if without the presence of those of corn. that brings us to the least known and least documented part of the story. on the pretext of driving out just of kone the ugandan army committed horrific atrocities inside its own country. between 19062004 most of any as army engaged in a bloody crackdown in northern uganda. officially it
was hunting down the l r a. son officially it was crushing resistance to his move from the actually people in the ethnic group to which joseph koni belonged and which had dominated the previous government. i believe to young monk or to the church was complaining a lot the only took it behind one army uniform and they came back and said this one of the rebel. want to show you today that desire would be with a war so that taking ladies others they don't because on battery and the shut in daycare for the zealotry mothers it from top to head and it told the parents say shut up if you do anything well do this and do. this very incident was detailed in 1991 m.s.d. international report.
we haven't a single instant where the u.p.d. i was accused of intentional image and i'm asking people are you familiar with the 2005 human rights watch report about this conflict. no human rights watch. you know. because in their 2005 report which is the most exhaustive they refer to torture. rape. full killings. on both sides on the r. aside and also on the sites so it's not in the case of impossible to have our own human rights commission. but you do agree that for instance. 2005 report by human rights watch the world's a pretty strong feeling full killing rape torture of this is not blights where she wanted. to put. some of them. some of
them to swallow that is a not verified yet with hard cases over matter. medical people. and international. why was the united states desperate to support the ugandan regime at all costs despite its abuses despite the authoritarian rule of most of any president for more than 3 decades or was it because the agent ugandan autocrat was providing a few services to his american godfather. it is true that that may have gone present in the weather service for too long today as this big you learn not to say in so much. 212 for being sent to my that american officials can progress in parliament to support the president the
fruits of the lord. if you need somebody to be involved to help in fighting. terrorism and a place like somalia which is celtic and it was so many is willing to do that sending ugandan soldiers the. i think that's a very easy decision for us to make regardless of anything else that was submitted as you know we've been gone by it so. and can weigh in on me when too late i quote that a couple of. the show the way they stayed in top job or a bit i made it comes get the blind i didn't know maybe it's the been about the about it could double the time what the bleep tubes instead into my head so you and i because. america made it so when we screwed it. yes we're coming along so.
none of this was mentioned in the kone 2012 video. not a word about the ugandan regime about president museveni 4 about the war crimes committed by his army. why not. and what exactly was invisible children's role. when they say they're helping the widows or the war or friends or so on what are these really do and. those are the sorts of questions that always occur in my mind. i think across from probably about 2 years before their big viral video and. i found their website and look at them and read what they said they were doing.
so something about it felt very off to me. in their level of access to the region of northern uganda around 2005 northern uganda was completely sealed off by the ugandan army the only people who got in especially people with camera gear sophisticated camera gear such people did not get into northern uganda without the express permission of the ugandan government jason russell and his team they were in there because the ugandan government want them to be in there so why. the small in geo was purportedly working to save orphans when in fact it was promoting one of the most corrupt regimes in africa.
this is a radio h.q. where we coordinate all the security information for the southeast of the central african republic. newsroom. every day we have a security round in the morning and another in the afternoon dark and. in concrete terms it was nothing more than a network of informants scattered through dozens of villages they were responsible for reporting the movements of active armed rebels without really knowing whether there were any small isolated l r a groups among them or not. maybe that was more information. because the radios were all over the community. that information. this is so it was full on top of it. in the meeting. most of the information would come through the invisible radio network.
mr sawyer i knew about it was how forceful the entire. but i don't know how it would have been between the nonprofit. information to the military so we were kind of. at the end of it looked us if we were the voice of. the n.r.a. why children if you're feeding the military before they go on get them after 2 children. you better do your good and she told me she felt comfortable with sharing information with the new trick. that's very interesting i was not in a position of leadership that i am now at the time when jolie was working with invisible hand in that role but my understanding was that that was not her
sentiment previously so i. only recently i owe. my understanding is that that was not a sentiment that she held. at the time that these programs are being developed the concept of neutrality with the l r a is very different than in the context of a civil conflict or intercommunal conflict and so in that context supporting essentially law enforcement in the protection of civilians we felt it was very important. except that in the code of ethics for n.g.o.s recognized by the un neutrality is nonnegotiable in fact a non-governmental organization should always be independent of governments enormous. invisible children however has always collaborated with the ugandan army and regime. so just like in february 2009 at the time the most of any government claimed there was a conspiracy afoot to overthrow it. patrick coma care who had worked for invisible
children in its early days was accused of being part of a plot. to do i was a place too. i was. never seen in my life before. and. i remember one day said i was in. prison on us we were down there. and one that day for. patrick was eventually cleared of all charges but who denounced him the answer was hidden in a secret diplomatic note written by the us ambassador himself in 2009 later published on the wiki leaks website. number 4 they say they foiled a plot against the ugandan government and were looking for someone. coming
. they say he was then arrested thanks to a tip off from invisible children. even the american ambassador implies that the organization does the leg work for ugandan forces. by then not only was he saying that was not working with him. and i didn't know what up. from there i quote . somebody. who was so much in this. investigation. from. you know him. no no no i i i do know who he is but i don't i can't recall. if i heard his name that might have been back in 2000. do you know what evidence or
. no i don't say that it is been arrested. because invisible children the gave it's you both to the uganda security forces i have no information about that. how do you feel about doubts about so that's was a question of them wouldn't be able to to do so well i have i have no way of knowing if that's true at all and i sorry it is i mean of met the guy there is substantial evidence that's actually invisible children have that's i'm david supposed to be you're going then what a tree on the and arrested him and the guy was tortured for 3 months and then he was cleared because he didn't do anything how would you feel about that is that. i i have no information about that situation at all i obviously anyone who
acts who would experience something horrible like that is is unacceptable i have no information on that situation. another thing that bothered me about the conan 2012 video was the evangelical rather messianic tone adopted by jason russell. the founder of invisible children seems to regard himself as something of a pastor. his speeches are sermons. who are you to end a war i'm here to tell you who are not. here's the copy that was put out by truth wins out the words organization i was working. on for this audio i found pearson russell at the gathering in 2000.
the gathering is the biggest community of christian fundamentalist philanthropists in the united states so here it is. only in so with this movie we are able to be the trojan horse in a sense going into a route say guess what life's about our sins and stop. us. to start and that's really what this has been all. well i was surprised that he would use the word chosen horse even at. a conference such as that of a joker christian donors i was surprised that he went that far to it minute that is is that they visible children was. perpetrating some some deceit. as it's. true. so i. can't comment on what
jason might have not said but i can calm down we are in no way a religiously affiliated organization. all of this was funded by an army of young people who put their money toward their belief in the value of all human life they gave a few dollars a month of what little they have. their funding comes from young people who give a few of those a month. as invisible children became better and better known they were able to get small donations by by presenting themselves as more or less a secular. non-profit which was doing great things in africa but that's not where they started they they started with money from the. giant fundamentalist heaven chuckled philanthropies that gave them seed money. this is the 1st year they're
a foreign language is the list of those that's really. a lot of churches and yellow churches a lot of ministries so here's the big one the prohibition foundation which is a subsidiary of the national christian foundation and so this form lists. $350000.00 and i think they're one of the biggest in grants they got in 2007 and the national christian foundation it's a fundamentalist christian philanthropy they say in their statement of belief that the bible is the infallible inerrant word of god and that we're about essentially extending the kingdom promoting the kingdom are our kingdom the christian kingdom throughout the world and. we are. non-profit organization that's completely secular and that folks know that the prevention into neuroscience programming so that's not
that's not at. it's our innovation that it would go to invisible children websites you know to see what they're publishing know in terms of the let's look at risk you know they'll be interesting because i haven't looked at it. i think it's probably still with this. you're getting half a $1000000.00 from someone no name and it was yeah you know i mean. when you see when you go to some doctors in your thoughts for. we can say that we can see that there was amounts of money for instance also a $1000000.00 from someone but we don't know we don't know who it is or from the we came up with one you know but. i could send you because yeah because it's so interesting. to google up when done with a few days after the interview that this is the invisible children press officer who cut in during the interview sent me this clarification. it guarantees that donations are from private foundations with no religious affiliations will use.
when you look i reply that i would like to believe there is no religious connection for me but need to check for myself. could i have the names since then i've had no word from invisible children. but it doesn't end there the involvement of another more powerful entity in uganda raises the question who was really behind kone 2012. i'm the author of 2 books about an american fundamentalist organization with deep involvement in uganda. the family or the fellowship as it's known is the oldest and arguably the most
influential christian conservative political organization in the united states. the organization the furze and terry very low profile the more invisible you can make your organization the longtime leader and fond of saying the more influence it will have he liked to refer to it as the christian mafia. located close to congress this unremarkable red brick building belongs to the fellowship. its members meet here in private to talk about jesus and business. but it won't open its doors to outsiders. its membership was not for the masses they weren't doing any big revivals it was for congressmen business leaders government leaders and they play a major part and facilitating u.s.
relationships with authoritarian figures around the world that's what they admire this they when they look at christ they don't see a model of love or compassion primarily they see strength. could there then be a more i do. he'll recruit for the fellowship then the autocrats know where he moves have any. call for a terry and vehemently homophobic and evangelical. the family looks at the 70 as their key man as they put it in uganda but also as their one of their key men in africa and one of the key men globally saying come to us pray with us. do business with us and they really take credit for forging that relationship at the beginning and turning the 70 into the american sphere of influence where she has remained as powerful regional proxy ever since.
in washington i was particularly interested in one member of the fellowship. a senator named jim inhofe known for his interest in african affairs. on my bottom on honor and you know paula if you like to thank you for writing. in hoff was one of the stars of the coney 2012 video. for all the problems that are out there no one is more severe than when the middle aged takes the lives of the little kids. so soon it's on to this senator jim inhofe from oklahoma must be pretty close to the ngo because in one of the other videos we have we see him taking part in one of the n.g.o.s protests. areas. his interest in uganda goes back many years. in this press release from 2006 he was already raising the alarm about what he called northern uganda as terrorist group the l r a. when i go he says i'm doing my jesus thing when he goes and meets with foreign
leaders he says i'm a u.s. senator i'm the conduit to u.s. power and money if you want to get there you go through me and you go to jesus. the senator will not answer our questions what's clear is that for decades a radical fellowship has been pulling strings behind the scenes to get uganda to advance u.s. interests. tony 2012 was just part of a much more complex story. incidentally what happened right after the video's viral success. once its makers collected $70000000.00 in donations. that. the coin treasure trove
when i was c.e.o. decided that there was no funding coming and he made the decision to close the invisible children in uganda. the moral of this story. is that there isn't one. in 2017 the u.s. government's development agency usaid awarded $24000000.00 in grants to invisible children to fund a 5 year mission in the democratic republic of congo. today invisible children gets most of its funding from the us government. to me a founder member of the invisible children on the one who led them to get this story i felt. that this is our story that went out there and it was being managed by someone else that is why i chose to continue with it yeah.
w. each still tells my story. of the people hands me builds me to chase a life story. i am not too dumb to. listen closely and i will tell you about those who are new to me on. those susumu down. i am not to down to public. i am mocked my city days for centuries and accompanied my country through its finest on. the day i mean anything. i'm still not too dumb to.
look up the. president of the news live from dublin in just a population of 1300000000 begins a 3 week lockdown to combat the coronavirus the streets of the capital delhi that deserted us people stay behind closed doors and try minister neurons of modi warns that without the lockdown the country could be set back 21 years also on the program china begins to emerge from its coronavirus walk down but some experts warn this may dreams just a brief pause before